Justice Society: Meet the Heroes of Black Adam

Old Meets New, but Justice is Eternal

Hawkman: “Maybe Eternium really can work miracles. Which is exactly what I’ll need if Craddock was speaking the truth. Something is coming, Jeremy…something I won’t be able to handle alone.”

Black Adam: The Justice Society Files

The Justice Society of America was the first superhero team. They may not be as famous as the Justice League or Teen Titans, but they’re ready to show those Johnny-Come-Latelies what old school heroism looks like in DC’s Black Adam.

Many of the Justice Society’s members have been around since the 1940s. In recent decades, they’ve mentored teen superheroes to help raise the next generation of crime fighters. The new Dwayne Johnson movie version features both young and old heroes. So who will appear in Black Adam? Let’s find out.


Played by: Aldis Hodge and William Katt

Hawkman: [about the Batcave] “I’m impressed. Your set-up here is not much different than police headquarters back on Thanagar. More earth-bound, of course.

The Batman “What Goes Up…” (Season 5, Episode 11)

The first member of the Justice Society has arguably the most complicated superhero backstory of all time. Only Wonder Girl can compete with him on that front. So how did the chairman of the Justice Society get his start?

Carter Hall was an archeologist who investigated the tomb of the forgotten pharaoh Khufu. He found an ancient knife that unlocked memories of his past lives. Carter was Khufu, who had been trapped in a reincarnation loop by the villain Shadow Thief. His wife Shiera was the reincarnation of Khufu’s lover, a priestess named Chay-Ara. Together, they used ancient artifacts to become the heroes Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

Hawkman’s origin was changed in the Silver Age. Karter-Hol and Shayera were now interstellar police officers from the planet Thanagar. The Thanagarians are similar to Star Trek’s Klingons, but can fly. Karter and Shayera were assigned to protect Earth and were dubbed Hawkman and Hawkgirl by the press. 

The two origins were able to co-exist for a while by having both sets of Hawks live in different universes. When the multiverse was destroyed, writers engaged in a civil war of their own to determine which version was being written, at the cost of overcomplicating the Hawks. The higher-ups eventually settled on a mixture. The Hawks are still ancient Egyptians, but their current incarnations were born on Thanagar.

Hawkman uses several medieval weapons forged from Nth Metal, which negates magic, absorbs energy, and defies gravity. When not a Thanagarian, Hawkman flies using a Nth Metal winged harness. His experiences during many lifetimes have made him an expert fighter, tactician, and leader.

Justice Society: Doctor Fate

Played by: Pierce Brosnan and Ed Asner

Doctor Fate:Child, your mayhem on this world ends now! We will restore peace where you have wrought havoc. For we are the Defenders of Order! The Conquerors of Chaos! [other voices repeat] And for you… a Fate worse than death.

Young Justice “Og Htrof Dna Reuqnoc!” (Season 4, Episode 12)

Hawkman is pretty tough, but some threats need more than brute force. That’s when Doctor Fate steps up to bat.

Kent Nelson is an archeologist who discovered the tomb of a forgotten pharaoh named Nabu. And yes, Nabu and Khufu were contemporaries. He discovered a golden helmet that compelled him to put it on. The helmet drew Nelson into another dimension where he met Nabu, in actuality, a Lord of Order.

Nabu thought the world had become too chaotic and chose Nelson to be his champion. While wearing the helmet, he would have all of Nabu’s knowledge and magic at his disposal. Nelson returned to America and became Doctor Fate.

Doctor Fate is arguably the strongest mage in the DC Universe and can do almost anything. He even made our list of the Top 5 Magic Using Superheroes. Unfortunately, Nabu cares more about preserving order than doing good. He has frequently possessed Nelson, wearing him like a coat to fight heroes or prevent him from stopping disasters that would result in order.

Atom Smasher

Black Adam:In truth, he has become the closest thing I have to a brother. A younger brother who still has much to learn, but a brother nonetheless.

JSA #56

The Justice Society is much more family oriented than other teams. Many members are descendants of other heroes and act as a family unit. Atom Smasher is the angsty middle child who makes bad life choices.

Al Rothstein is the son of a villain called Cyclotron and the grandson of founding JSA member The Atom. He developed the power to turn into a super strong giant and fought crime as Nuklon. He soon changed his name to Atom Smasher and joined the Justice Society to honor his grandfather’s legacy.

Atom Smasher’s mother was murdered by a villain called Kobra. He became violent and vengeful. He went back in time and saved her by making a villain die instead. This intrigued new JSA member Black Adam, who bonded with Atom Smasher while convincing him that the murder was justified. After all, the new victim was a villain who had killed before.

Black Adam earned Atom Smasher’s favor by killing Kobra. Smasher quit the JSA to join a team Adam formed to reconquer his homeland: Kahndaq. He quickly regretted it after seeing Black Adam’s brutality. The JSA reluctantly accepted Atom Smasher back into the fold and he has gone out of his way to atone for his crimes. Despite it all, Smasher and Adam remain friends.

Justice Society: Cyclone

Played by: Quintessa Swindell

Cyclone:I think it’s time to try… defying gravity.”

Justice Society #1 (2007)

The Justice Society has existed since the forties in the DC Universe. As many times as they’ve saved the world, it’s no wonder they have fans. So what happens when a star-struck young hero joins the team?

Maxine Hunkel is the granddaughter of “Ma” Hunkel, the Red Tornado. She was often mocked by classmates for her obsession with the Justice Society and the works of L. Frank Baum. On top of that, she was also seen as a motormouth and a know-it-all. The bullying caused her to develop clinical depression.

Maxine developed the power to control air currents and fly. Patterning herself on Elphaba from Wicked, she joined the Justice Society as Cyclone. The team struggled to help Maxine with her depression and handle her exuberance, often resulting in drama. Cyclone found a friend in Stargirl, who was also temperamental and able to relate to her.

Cyclone isn’t a wicked witch, but she can still defy gravity by riding on air currents and blow foes away with wind blasts. She is also a genius who will rattle off obscure JSA trivia at the drop of a hat. Any hat, anywhere.


Played by: Joanna Cameron and Sarah Shahi

Narrator: 3000 years later, a young science teacher dug up this lost treasure and found she was heir to… The Secrets of Isis! And so, unknown to even her closest friends, Rick Mason and Cindy Lee, she became a dual person. Andrea Tomaz: teacher…
Andrea: [transforming] “Oh, mighty Isis!
Narrator:And Isis! Dedicated foe of evil! Defender of the weak! Champion of truth and justice!

Isis (1977)

Legends of Tomorrow fans may know this character as Zari, but Isis first debuted in the 1974 kids show Shazam. She was spun-off into her own moderately successful show before being brought into DC Comics.

Andrea Thomas is an Egyptian refugee who was captured by slavers called Intergang. They offered her to Black Adam as a peace offering, but he slaughtered them in disgust and freed her.  She saw his powers and suggested he use them to improve Kahndaq. He heard Andrea out because she wasn’t afraid of him and slowly fell in love with her.

Black Adam and Shazam gave Andrea the Amulet of Isis, which allowed her to draw on the goddesses’ powers. Isis and Black Adam made huge strides in improving Kahndaq and even found her long-lost brother, who became Osiris. Unfortunately, Isis died while fighting the Four Horsemen of Apokolips.

Isis was resurrected by Black Adam and a sorcerer named Felix Faust, but the magic they used corrupted her. She became a tyrant who fought the Justice Society. During a fight with her brother, Osiris was able to absorb the corrupted magic, allowing Isis to become her heroic self once more.

Andrea Thomas will be Adam’s love interest in Black Adam and doesn’t appear to have powers. It’s highly unlikely she’ll become Isis because of the terrorist organization using that name. However, we have an ancient Egypt-themed female superhero, Hawkman is explicitly the reincarnating pharaoh, and Hawkgirl is nowhere in sight. I suspect Isis and Hawkgirl might be one and the same in the DCEU. And oh, the love triangle drama that will bring to any sequels if that’s the case.

Which member of the Justice Society are you looking forward to in Black Adam? Tell us in the comments.

Image: ALDIS HODGE as Hawkman in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “BLACK ADAM,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures. © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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